Gina and Hippo’s wedding at the Inn on the Lake.. Don’t forget the socks!

A Lake District Wedding at Inn ON The Lake, Glenridding.

Difficult to find the words to describe this day. Since our first meeting at Rheged I just knew that this day would be different from any other wedding that I have shot at the Inn On The Lake. Gina and Hippo are very outdoorsy and Hippo is capable of going in the wild with the best of them. It was the essential shots of the day list that got me nodding in agreement including the superhero socks shot. Gina’s nephew also had me tickled with laughter all day, while taking pictures from the back of the gazebo and feeling the cold plastic of a nerf gun being jabbed into the baclk of my knee. Or being in a state of undress more than once.

There was also the group shots that took a wee while to complete due to the chaos, people going to the loo and generally vanishing from where I thought they were. I did the usual and just kept shooting through it all, which although made it quite peppered, also made it a bit less of a lineup.

Quite fitting that for their ‘shoot with a view’ after the wedding, that we headed up to Caldbeck, messed around at some quarries and also visited my favourite tree near the Ireby junction. Its one of my favourite places and the weather was amazing.

So, for two people who are always up for a laugh, surrounded by their amazing friends and family. Most of the day had me (and everyone else) smiling from ear to ear. The Inn came up trumps again too making everything run incredibly well. I do miss George though.


In the pursuit of happiness… Lisa and Steve at Inn on the Lake… Oh, and Stig.

Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, Mate, friend, organizer, right good laugh and all round diamond in the rough. You got hitched! Mazin! Good day it was too with lots of fine people and at a venue that is as familiar to me as the clutch in my car.

I was over the moon to get a call from Lisa to ask me to shoot her wedding. I have known her for many a full moon now and then to find out that she was marrying a guy as nice as Steve, a real life tough soldier type?.. Well, that was the icing on the cake. The only downside? As an army wife, she had to move to Darlington! Mind you, the throbbing metropolis that is Brampton will have to take the hit of your loss.

SOOOO.. Inn On The Lake, for a beautiful and quirky wedding on a very sharp but fair winters day. Winter weddings at the Inn are great. There is lots of space to move around its many lounges and the staff are fab at helping to shift bits around and even hunt for stray guests. The wedding was coordinated by Johnothan on this occasion and a fine job he did too. The best bit was probably the X-Wing flyby above the hotel, organized by the fine people at Photoshop for Steve, the massive Star Wars fan (episodes 4-6 only). I can remember talking about Stormtrooper bridesmaids and whether or not the registrar should be dressed as a Wookie? John would do it. Lisa Did walk in to the Imperial March though which was awesome.

Well here we are. A wedding where I got to say an emotional goodbye to an old friend who was strolling on to pastures new. I think I can speak for everyone who attended to say how much we will all miss you. At least I can’t throw you on bouncy castles from this distance… Later Dude.

(At least the Stig had a bath!)

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Emma and Phil: Inn on the Lake… Kindly sponsored by Jägermeister

Wow, Emma can dance, a lot of the time it seems too. It also seems that the outside weddings at Inn on the Lake have really become popular. The pagoda come bandstand that Gary and the team have installed next to the Ullswater shoreline is fantastic. Not to mention the addition of a new Orangery, phase one of redevelopment at the Inn on the Lake which will make shooting weddings there much easier, as it is only for hotel guests not associated with the wedding, so no more ‘are they or aren’t they?’ at the wedding moments in the future.

Taking everything into account and reflecting on Emma and Phils’ wedding got me to thinking. Mainly about the people who I have photographed at the Inn before but also about the kind of people that Inn on the Lake may attract in the future. Every bride and groom there, have been easy going and relaxed on their wedding day. Now, I don’t know if this is down to the sort of couple that Inn on the Lake attracts or possibly some other phenomenon, (not barometric pressure or what they had for tea!) like location? There really is nowhere else like it and stacks of venues huddle into the Lake District and photographing at them is really amazing but Inn on the Lake seems to be the one that I come back to, like a worn in pair of loafers or my wifes’ spaghetti bolognese. Inn on the Lake is the only one where I compromise little and create lots.

Emma was slightly nervous on the morning and Phil was really really not. I wanted time alone on the morning of our wedding to take stock, but Emma and Phil wanted to be surrounded by those closest to them. Several events followed which made the day an awesome portfolio of photographs and a lot of fun to boot. To name but a few: An excellent best mans speech, a more than understanding registrar from the Penrith office, Some Jaegerbombs and a bride and groom who were as natural in front of the camera as they were with each other. Half way through the day I was happy with the results and by the end of the day I was ecstatic.

So… Emma danced lots, including as she was being married by the registrar. Everyone had an a-m-a-z-i-n-g time and confetti seemed to be thrown at every corner of the hotel. Phil got through his speech and the first dance involved everyone at the wedding and really made the walls of the Ramblers shake. Job done…

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Why photograph weddings on film?

A conversation that I had on a blog recently with a friend of mine who has a studio in Bowness-on-Windermere set me off thinking about why I still shoot on film as well as digital. I thought I might clarify this for anyone wanting to book me to photograph their wedding and also add my two cents to the wider debate on film vs digital etc….

Digital images are synthetic versions of their film counterparts, so a digital image is one that seeks to replicate and improve upon the older film process that we used to use to create our photographs. Film is an organic or largely chemical process which works on the same principal as digital of having something behind a focused glass lens to capture an image of whatever your camera is pointed at.

vintage lake district wedding photography
Film: fuji 400 pro vc: camera Nikon F4: 85mm lens.

I found that when post processing my digital images on the Mac that i was striving to achieve a filmic look from the effects that I was employing on the images, bearing in mind that this period was after I had already invested significantly into digital technology, learned how to use it and done my Adobe Photoshop accreditation.

The reality of the situation was that if I shot film, I would make my images look exactly how I wanted them to look in camera. This would mean that whatever came out of the dark room to be scanned would be the finished image, plus a little retouching for imperfections. However……….. There is no denying that digital has its advantages of which the chief advantage is cost. Memory cards can be used for an indefinite period as long as you format and keep them clean, to clean a sensor on a digital camera costs around £35 every two or three months of heavy usage.

Film costs around £7 for 36 images once chemicals to process the film and scanning time at the computer are taken into account.

award winning wedding photography in the lake district
Shot on a Nikon F4, Ilford HP5 400 film with a 50mm F1.4 lens.

I decided that I would work on a percentage at all of my weddings from 2010 up to the weddings that I will be shooting in 2012 and 2013. That split would be 80-20. 80% digital and 20% film, carrying two cameras at once with the digital backup in my bag so I can always shoot on either, freeing me up to shoot the images that I want to shoot on film and the bulk digitally.

There is no doubt that I am an oddity in this respect as far as how I work with the two mediums together and I can find no-one locally doing anything similar or even considering using film based alternatives to digital.

Digital rules the roost in wedding photography because the technology allows us to do things that with film were impossible, so film has been left behind with only Kodak pushing the technology and Ilford in financial trouble and Fuji struggling to justify opening its plant to produce the stuff.

The future for film looks grim……

Ilford xp2
shot on a olympus om40, kodak tri-x 400 film and a 50mm f1.8 lens

Does this then mean that images like these will become a thing of the past? Shoe boxes of photos in the cupboard will no longer exist because they are all online in our cloud storage and film cameras will become obsolete with expensive ones going to museums and collectors and the cheap ones going to the dump? For all intents and purposes, yes is the answer. Film will die eventually, no matter how many resurgences it goes through as its production cost will become astronomical. A cost that will be passed onto us as photographers which we can little afford.

wedding photography in penrith
shot on a canon eos 50e with a 70-200 f2.8 lens. Ilford fp4 100 film.

So we have resolved that film is expensive and because it is no longer a popular medium, the emulsions used to capture images on film are at least ten years old and it takes a lot of time to develop and get right……


But just look at it.

The range of tones that film can capture, the subtle way that with care you can make light fall off a subject, its muted but accurate colours  and the sharpness and clarity with which it delivers black and white make film completely unique.

Its not about delivering an image that your clients are happy with but rather an image that your clients are ecstatic with, being able to reproduce images from negatives that are real and have a permanence, with a tactile finish to each negative and print.

From my own point of view the smell of chemicals used to develop the film at home will be a memory that my little girl can revisit hopefully when she is old enough to pick up a camera. Seeing the negatives soaped and coming off the reel for the first time and knowing that what is on that strip of negatives is going to look exactly how I saw it in my mind when I pressed the shutter on the camera.

mia bridal Carlisle and Lake district
shot on a Nikon F80, 50mm f1.4 lens and Ilford HP5.

The reason that my images look so different to everyone else’s is because I use techniques and processes that nobody else has the time or patience to use. My background is in modelling, editorial, fashion and studio work, so my influences are different to everyone else’s too and I take ideas from all over the media from MTV to Vogue, Harpers, ID and a pile of American wedding magazines that I subscribe to and love.

Film is perfect for vintage styled or themed weddings of which I have a few this year and am really looking forward to. The future is without any doubt digital and what I continue to use for at least 90% of my photography and 80%-90% of weddings, but as long as my clients still demand the type of images that only film can produce, it will always accompany the digital.

Vintage weddings in the Lake District
Shot on a Nikon F4 with an 85mm f1.8 lens and fuji 400 pro film

The best of 2011…. more to follow.

I have compiled a set of images from 2011 that I consider to be my personal favourites. This may give people who are looking at my site and blog a little more insight into what I am looking for as a photographer. In here there are a mix of set-up images and also some photojournalistic style images and I have put in only one from each wedding that I have attended and there are still more to come from weddings that haven’t even been blogged yet!

lake district photographers international
David and Abigail at the Merewood Hotel, Windermere

I chose this for the amazing setting, the fact that we fought to get to the location in the first place as it is actually at the Cragwood Hotel. After all that, this image really was worth the effort.

greystoke castle
Rachel & Shaun at greystoke, Penrith.

I chose this image of Shaun and Rachel from a mountain of images shot on the day because it really does sum them up. The colouring reflects the vintage feel of the wedding too. Rarely am I happier with a posed image than with this one.


wedding photography at the punchbowl
Nicola and Tom at the Punchbowl Inn

Tom & Nicola had two photographers on the day and this was one of my favourites. We jumped back from the church in Grassmere to take this at St Johns in the Vale and is just off the road. We fought a bit of rain to get this shot but it was well worth it.

wedding photography at Armathwaite Hall
Andrew & Jill at Armathwaite Hall Hotel, Bassenthwaite.

This is by far my favourite of Andrew and Jill and I think it is theirs too. The depth and height of the trees adds a real perspective to it and by muting the colours is is far less green than the original. Armathwaite hall has so many locations for all types of weather conditions and it is a real treat to photograph weddings there.

wedding photographers at rheged
Andrew and Kelly at Rheged, Penrith.

Some brides and grooms are up for anything.. Andrew and Kelly were no exception as they jumped at the chance to have images in the IMAX at Rheged. The screen wasn’t actually on and the light is coming from a flash positioned on a boom in front of the screen. Certainly one of the most unique shots from their wedding and a personal favourite. The rest of their images will follow in a blog post shortly.

wedding photography at inn on the lake, lakeland
The wedding of Dawn and Mike at Inn on the Lake, Glenridding

I know that this is quite an odd choice for a favourite, but in a fraction of a second this moment was gone and this was the only time I could get a clean shot as everybody piled onto the dance floor. All of the elements that were required to take it came together for a 60th of a second. A firm firm favourite from this year.

wedding photographers in Carlisle
Lucie & Hamish at the Heather Glen Hotel, Ainstable, Carlisle.

This is again, just another moment. I will even admit that this image was not part of Hamish and Lucies’ final selection for their album, but it is one that really makes me smile. Maybe you had to be there to feel the nerves and excitement to appreciate this quiet moment, shot from the hallway. The room was bathed in beautiful sunlight and apart from a little colour correction, this image is largely untouched in photoshop.


wedding photographers in wigton, cumbria, the greenhills
Joanne & Paul at the Greenhill Hotel, near wigton.

Joanne said that she wanted something different as a portrait of herself to run alongside the more posed images of her from her wedding day. I love it because this window has been used a thousand times by nearly every photographer covering weddings in Cumbria and after a moment to think, I decided on a partial silhouette. Its a first from me and maybe a first for the Greenhill?

The roundthorn wedding photographers.
Victoria & Kevin at the Roundthorn Hotel, Beacon Edge, Penrith.

Victoria was luminous on her wedding day and photographed with ease from start to finish. This image stood out mainly because of how it flows from top to bottom and really shows off the vibrancy of her dress, even in mono.

Barrow in Furness wedding photographers
David and Michelle at Abbey House Hotel, Barrow

As far as classic wedding imagery goes, this is it for me and I really could create images like this one all day long. This wedding was shot as part of our two photographer team at Icon Wedding Photography, where you get the option to have two full time professional photographers covering your wedding day. Abbey house is a beautiful venue and one of my favourites in south Lakeland too. There is so much to see there and its potential for great wedding images is huge. We were even shooting once it got dark which I will show you all in a later post.

wedding photography at armathwaite hall, bassenthwaite
Matt & Adele at Armathwaite Hall

Matt was getting a real roasting here from his best man, who’s wedding I also covered. Its not a traditional wedding picture and Adel isn’t even in it, but  for me this image sums up these two to a tee. For more of Matt and Adels’ images search the blog as there are heaps on the blog. Armathwaite hall delivered us a lovely low sunset in their fantastic grounds.

wedding photography at inn on the lake
Mike and Katie at Inn on the lake, cumbria.

Talk about smiling from start to finish and there was no telling them both to be natural either… They just did it. Inn on the lake is rapidly becoming my home venue as year on year my weddings there increase. Its no bad thing as it is without doubt one of the best hotels for photography in the lakes. This image is an alternative to the normal stand at the end of the jetty and have a snog or look longingly at each-other pictures… I tend to have an alternative for every stayed or overdone picture. Jonathan and Gary are some of the best planners around too and make every wedding run like a well oiled machine.

racecourse wedding photography, carlisle
Melissa & Lee at Carlisle Racecourse

This shot of Melissa getting ready opens up Melissa and Lees’ album and spreads 24 inches across the page. Its a real knockout image taken on my Yashicamat 66 and is as smooth close up as it is from afar. I could have chose from hundreds of images of this wedding but I just love the expression on Mels face and the fact that she is in her dress and no-one else is ready. Carlisle racecourse is a fantastic place for a wedding and as an alternative venue to big country piles it makes for a very different setting and a very different style of photography.

graysonside wedding photographers
Nick & Maggie at St Begas and Graysonside, Cockermouth

Nick and Maggie seem to pop up on this blog a lot after having their wedding and pre wedding photoshoot done by Lake District. This image is timeless and has one of the most picturesque churches in the Lake District as the backdrop. Without doubt one of my favourites this year. Graysonside, Nicks family home is also now a wedding venue, so if you are looking at this and don’t have a venue yet, have a look at their site by clicking here.

hundith hill wedding photography
Stacey and Stephen at Hundith Hill, Cockermouth

Just over the road from the above venue at Graysonside is Hundith Hill, the chosen location of Stacey and Stephen. The rain really didn’t stop on the day, so I shot some bits inside while we waited for the weather to subside. The wall frames Stacey in this shot and makes the image really pop out. Staceys’ looks are flawless and make for a perfect bride who thankfully quite enjoyed being photographed.

weddings at the greenhill hotel
Rachel & Ian at the Greenhill Hotel, Red Dial.

Just remembering that I have to choose one image from each wedding for this exercise, this is Rachels’ favourite image and its mine too. The light is quite flat as we were in the shade but the dying embers of the evening summer sun can be seen lighting the staircase inside. The Greenhill Hotel, is where I shot my first big wedding after moving back from the North East, so is kind of a special place for me and I like to think that this is a nice portrait of the hotel too.

wedding photographers at smiths
Rachel & Rick at smiths hotel Gretna.

Caught this as we were setting up for a shot on the balcony outside Rachel and Ricks suite at Smiths. Its safe to say that this one had preference over the setup image by quite a long way.

crighton rugby club wedding photography
Sarah and Peter at the Crighton

Another wedding that is yet unblogged but expect to see it in the future. Sarah and peter had the worst mother nature could throw at us and still smiled all the way through. I stepped in a puddle but still managed to deliver over 400 images of a fantastic day for them both.

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Scott & Donna at Inn on the Lake

This has to be a wedding photograph that will live in infamy for me and one that I have clients ask about all of the time. This version is untreated with the union Jack left in. See the blog for more images from their beautiful wedding at Inn on the Lake.

weddings at the grange, grange-over-sands
Victor and Jennifer at the Grange Hotel

So 2011 ends where it all started, at the Grange with Victor and Jennifer. This was a wedding that I felt really at home with. Vintage styling and a really lovely couple who have left me some very nice comments on their blog post. This shot was captured as they walked away from their wedding breakfast and really was a lucky shot. I love it.. Adam from Lake District Wedding Photography.

Mike & Dawn at Inn on the Lake, Glenridding, Cumbria

Mike and Dawn booked me in January to cover their wedding at Inn on the Lake and on the day, there was so much to photograph my shot count on the cameras reached 1700 images…. I never shoot that much. Not even on commercial jobs that can last days, but the truth is that there was a lot to photograph, the light was awesome and the lake cruise on the evening topped off an excellent days photography. I will get straight into the images:

Outdoor wedding, glenridding
Mike and Dawn got married outside in the new gazebo which looks great with the hotel behind.

I shot so many images on the morning that they would not all go into this blog. Unusually for me, I didn’t stay the whole time, but kept dipping in and out of the room. This meant that there was always something new when I went back in. Dawn had a lot of bridesmaids so the room was busy enough without me there. I may publish some of these images at a later date as they tell a story all in themselves.

Mike and Dawn, Glenridding
The Happy couples first kiss.
alternative national wedding photographer
The sailboats made for a great backdrop.

Mike and Dawn had arranged to have their wedding in the huge gazebo, used at Inn on the Lake when guest numbers are very high. The styling of the wedding reception was fantastic and really complimented the rest of the day. After the meal the sides were lifted off at one end and it felt like a bedouin tent. This opened the interior to the outside views of Place Fell (on the other side of the lake) and Kirkstone to he right. Very beautiful locations all with perfect weather.

wedding photographers in cumbria
Mike and Dawn for a few moments before the wedding breakfast

I loved the wedding cake and its like no other that I have seen all year. I can’t remember the flavour but I think that it might have been chocolate.

inn on the lake, cumbrian wedding cakes
A very cool cake.
Speeches at the wedding
Nothing like a bit of shadow boxing to warm up for a really funny and entertaining speech.

After the meal everyone headed down to the Ullswater Steamers pier to go on a lake cruise. I love love love wedding cruises. They give me the opportunity to photograph people in a different light and maybe a little bit more relaxed than at the meal with speeches impending etc… The next few images are all from the boat trip where even in a smaller space, I feel that I can blend in more.

Dawn at the back of the boat with the Royal Enseign behind her.
Leeming house and Silver Point.
There are some great images to be had on the ullswater steamers boats.
Inn on the Lake
Dawn looked stunning on every image. The weather held out just long enough to get back to the pier and disembark.
Dawn and Mike at the wedding venue in the Lakes.
A great first dance from Dawn and Mike.
wedding party dancing
A cool band meant that everyone got up to dance almost straight away.

Thank-you Dawn and Mike and I hope you can choose between the images. There are quite a lot.

Mike & Katie at Inn on the Lake, Glenridding.

Photographing Mike and Katies’ wedding was a day of going with the flow of events and capturing a lot of things in a spontaneous way. It rained on and off for the whole day, so most of the shots taken were taken between showers. At the end of summer especially in one of the wettest places in the country, you have to expect a few light showers. The sunrise driving from Caldbeck to Ullswater that morning was biblically beautiful, which is quite apt considering that I was about to photograph one of my favourite weddings of the year.

Wedding photographer international
A mix of everyone getting ready. Note the photograph 3 in and 1 row down. Priceless.

The thing about photographing at Inn on the Lake is that there is almost too many locations and possibilities. Its one of those places that I never get tired of shooting at and I am there quite a lot. With Mike and Katies Wedding, I think that they set out to create a day that was about close family and friends and I think their images are quite intimate in that way. It was strange to approach a wedding at a venue that I cover so often in such an unusual way. This is by no means a bad thing as it gives their images an even more unique angle.

Bridal wedding images Cumbria
It was asking too much to hold it together for that long.

All of the groomsmen are rugby players and photographing them messing around in their room down the hall made me laugh out loud. It was quite a contrast to the lovely time that the Girls were having down the other end of the hotel. Mike got all of the boys survival bags filled with Lynx, cufflinks and most important of all Red Bull.

Cumbrian wedding photographer
This was in the spur of the moment. I was actually photographing Katie. I love it though.
Flower shops Penrith
The flowers were beautiful.
Ushers arriving at wedding
Mike and the boys arriving at the church in Pooley Bridge

Mike and Katie were married at St Michaels Churchat Barton near Pooley Bridge, which is like no other church that I have seen before. The Church has a large tunnel leading through the centre and the altar is through the tunnel about 15 yards from the congregation. This did allow me to slip from front to back quite easily though and the Vicar was a gentleman.

Wedding in Pooley bridge, Cumbria
Katie and Raif arriving at the church
Bride on her way to church in the lake district
Katie heading up the path.
lake district ceremony
Mikes nerves were quickly evaporated once katie had arrived and on time too…ish.
bride and groom inn on the lake
In the grounds of the church. It was fantastic and very charming. Very Lake District.Some sunshine at last.
inn on the lake
Katie looked amazing and was so natural to photograph.
ullswater ceremony
Raif talked about the stag in his speech and how for the first time he has tried a Jaegerbomber. What a great speech.
Lake district first dance.
A lovely first dance image from a couple who laughed and smiled all day.

What a great wedding to do. Mike and Katie were awesome on the day. Thanks go to Raif for ‘cracking the whip’ as he said when I was too short to shout through an open window and thanks to Mike and Katie for letting me capture a unique and close event, full of emotion and laughter.

Lake District Wedding Photography Cumbria

Current Offer

A full day’s wedding coverage (8hrs)

Includes a USB drive of images.

Option of a half-price photobooth (£200)

All for only: £899

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Lake District Wedding Photography, 21 Mill Road, Glasson, Cumbria, CA7 5EE [email protected]